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From the College of Natural Sciences
Gravitational Waves Discovery Has Deep UT Connections

Gravitational Waves Discovery Has Deep UT Connections

The recent detection of gravitational waves at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which is partially led by executive director and University of Texas at Austin alumnus David Reitze, has even deeper roots at UT Austin.

Physics Alum a Lead on Gravitational Waves Discovery

Physics Alum a Lead on Gravitational Waves Discovery

People all over the world tuned in this morning when David Reitze, a 1990 graduate of the Department of Physics at UT Austin, described what happened back in September.

UT Astronomer Solves Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars

UT Astronomer Solves Mystery of 'Born Again' Stars

Astronomer Natalie Gosnell has used Hubble Space Telescope to better understand why some stars aren't evolving as predicted. These so-called "blue stragglers" look hotter and bluer than they should for their advanced age. It's almost as if they were somehow reinvigorated to look much younger than they really are.

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Sees First Light

After several years and a massive team effort, one of the world's largest telescopes has opened its giant eye again. The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory has completed a $25 million upgrade and, now using more of its primary mirror, has achieved "first light" as the world's third-largest optical telescope.

The dome of the Hobby-Eberly Telescope sits in front of a backdrop of blue sky. Photo by Ethan Tweedie Photography.
Texas Astronomers Help Find Earth’s Older, Bigger Cousin

Texas Astronomers Help Find Earth’s Older, Bigger Cousin

University of Texas at Austin astronomers working with NASA’s Kepler mission have helped to discover the first near-Earth-sized planet around a Sun-like star in the “habitable zone,” the range of distances where liquid water could pool on a planet’s surface. They used the university’s McDonald Observatory to help confirm the finding, which has been...
UT Austin, International Partners Approve Start of Construction for Giant Magellan Telescope

UT Austin, International Partners Approve Start of Construction for Giant Magellan Telescope

The Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) has announced a major milestone today with 11 international partners including The University of Texas at Austin unanimously approving its construction, securing the future of the project with more than $500 million to begin work on the world's most powerful optical telescope. The decision initiates final design and fabrication of the GMT, which is poised to become the largest optical telescope in existence.

Happy 25th Anniversary, Hubble Space Telescope

Happy 25th Anniversary, Hubble Space Telescope

Abell 1703, a gravitational lensLike a newborn's foggy vision slowly coming into focus, the Hubble Space Telescope has enabled humanity to see more clearly than ever before the world beyond our noses, a cosmos of contradictions: incandescent and quiescent, violent and benevolent, chaotic and orderly.

McDonald Observatory’s Andrew Mann Wins Prestigious Hubble Fellowship

McDonald Observatory’s Andrew Mann Wins Prestigious Hubble Fellowship

Astronomer Andrew Mann of The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a Hubble Fellowship from NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute, science center for the Hubble Space Telescope.

Hooray for Pi Day

Hooray for Pi Day

Pi Day, celebrated every year on March 14, corresponds with the first three digits of pi (3.14 also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday). Pi pops up anytime you want to mathematically describe a circle, curve or sphere. Here at The University of Texas at Austin, our scientists and mathematicians have reasons to celebrate pi year-round. 

Astronomers Discover Ancient Solar System with Five Earth-sized Planets

Astronomers Discover Ancient Solar System with Five Earth-sized Planets

A team of scientists including The University of Texas at Austin’s Dr. William Cochran has discovered a solar system similar to our own dating back to the dawn of our Milky Way galaxy. They are reporting the find of five planets with sizes between Mercury and Venus orbiting the Sun-like star Kepler-444 in today’s issue of The Astrophysical Journal.